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February 9th, 2012
06:46 PM ET

Ron Paul talks about insurance coverage for contraception

CNN's Wolf Blitzer spoke with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) about his views of the current fight over insurance coverage for contraception. A highlight from the interview is below.

Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
Highlight from Full Interview
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BLITZER:  Where do you stand, Congressman, on the debate that's underway, the fight that's underway right now between the White House and the Catholic Church on contraception as far as religious-based hospitals, charities, universities that would be required to provide contraception?

You're a doctor, among other things.

Where do you stand on this fight that's going on, not only as a physician, but a libertarian?

PAUL:  Well, the - the position that, you know, I just don't like mandates and telling people what to do.  We get into trouble, though, when you use taxpayers' funding to do things you shouldn't be doing.  So when the taxpayers get involved, then you say, how can you be fair to everybody?

Well, you can't be.  So the government shouldn't be funding it. But certainly, if the funding is going to occur, you don't tell churches what they should do.

So I don't - I don't like the mandates at all.  And I - I think Obama has dug a hole for himself here, because he's trampling on religious conviction.

But the political and economic and constitutional approach of government being involved in doing things like this is really where it starts, because then you say, we have a government program, how can you satisfy everybody's wants and wills and what they want to do and protect everybody?

It's absolutely impossible.  This is why, if it's voluntary, if you have voluntary churches or whatever, you can do what you want and the government doesn't have a say just to protect voluntary choices, rather than the government dictating to the people and what they should do or shouldn't do about birth control.

BLITZER:  Well - well, I just want to be precise on this and then I'll let you go.  Let's say you're a woman who works at Georgetown University Hospital, which is a Catholic-based university hospital.  You're not necessarily Catholic, yet you want to - or even if you are Catholic, you want to have access, your health insurance, to - to get birth control pills.

Should you be a - should your health insurance company be required to provide you that kind of access?

PAUL:  No.  Then it's not insurance.  I mean once there's government in - involvement in insurance, then there are these dictates.  But if insurance were a voluntary issue for individuals, rather than the way we deliver it, with tax benefits to the large corporations and your ban - and your medical benefits go with the corporation and become very complex.

But in a true free market, you would pick the company that would provide you with the services that you wanted.  It would be like picking out which life insurance policy you want or picking out what kind of house policy you want or what kind of car policy you want.

It would be individualized.  But once again, the government has been involved in this health care business for so long and - but when they put a mandate on and say you must do this or must do that, it's no longer insurance.  They're not measuring risk at all and the - and the customer is not making a choice and the businessman is not making a choice.

So it's - it's the fault of compulsion by government-run programs that will inevitably lead to these arguments and fights.

BLITZER:  Are you going to win the Maine caucuses Saturday?

PAUL:  I think we have a chance to do that.  And I'll be up there and struggling up to the last minute.  But every time I've been up there so far, it has been wonderful.  And I'm so pleased that they're very receptive to the ideas of liberty and - and I'm cautiously optimistic about Saturday.

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